scraff (2121) - Baltimore, Maryland, USA - JAN 19, 2005
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Latest 04 batch. Deep clear coppers and ambers, thick off white head. Nose held notes of citrus, orange peel, fuzzy fruit, toffee, toast, with a slight cherry edge to it all. Snappy citric / fruity hops start the hop parade, followed by some dirty earthy hop notes, and a slight sweet caramel malt to round this out nicely. Decent balance, but not perfect. Age will do wonders on this one I’m sure. Medium bodied, light carbonation, dry warming, earthy hop finish. Good stuff year in, year out....
Shag (2684) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - JAN 17, 2005
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
A nice hoppy cherry and orange peel aroma. A brownish red appearance with a moderate head. The flavor is very quick and clean and leaves behind some hops and an orange and citrusy flavor mixed in with some alcohol and vanilla notes. Proof that a light bodied barley wine can be flavorful. A very nice beer.
P-tor44 (886) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - JAN 10, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
mmmm, thank you for this beast Zach. Sweet and vinous....hops through out, good alc presence, a pleasant force, toasty at points that I really enjoy.
Lou18 (1353) - West Paterson, New Jersey, USA - JAN 8, 2005
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
born in 2004. Bottle: Wow! Monsterous sherry nose. Color is burgundy/brown with a white head. Haed is small, but tight. Strong alcohol in this one. Slightly sweet, with nice carbination and a sour/dry finish. Drinkable and quite nice.
RateandPillage (426) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - JAN 7, 2005
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
2004 bottle. Dark yellow appearance with thin head. Good malt ahd hop aroma. Seems a bit thin and lacking in complexity for a barleywine. Overall, pretty good but there are more complex barleywines that I prefer.
rajendra82 (979) - Alpharetta, Georgia, USA - JAN 3, 2005
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: JUN 14, 2006 The beer came in a brown 12 oz. bottle with a shiny silver label and neck wrapping. The label proudly proclaimed a born on date in 2004. The beer poured clear reddish amber (the color of tea) with a small thin head. The smell was also evocative of strong tea, with a toasty caramel malt backed by herbal hops.
The taste was creamy and honey sweet with a clingy minty and buttery aftertaste that was a bit cloying. Restrained and mellow, this beer felt a bit too subdued. Alcohol was very well hidden, and I would never have guessed the strength to be as high as it was. Quite thin bodied for the style, and even thirst quenching on some levels. A sessionable barleywine, who would have thunk?
The 2004 vintage of this beer was the first one I picked up after the law change in Georgia, and at the time I though this was a beer worth cellaring. In the past year and a half I was able to avoid the calls of the lone remaining bottle of Monster. I suppose now is as good a time as any to take the plunge.
Poured into a tulip, the beer looked as clear as ever, with reddish brown body, and a small head that formed for a short while before settling down to a thin ring of bubbles. Not much carbonation to speak of either. The aroma was sweet, and floral. There were lots of fruity esters reminding me of figs, cherries, bananas, oranges, and apples. The alcohol was like rose oil. There was no hint of any oxidation, despite the warmish cellaring conditions in my basement.
The taste was smooth and mellow, with the flavors melded together to form a taste similar to fruit punch mixed with caramel sauce. The warm and spicy alcohol came shortly after, until giving way to vanilla. The texture was silky smooth and delicate. The hops which I remember being somewhat noticeable when fresh, had all faded into a slight peppery tingle.
This Monster was definitely a better beer with some age on it. The warmth of the alcohol has me wondering if this beer can go on improving a little more with age. Sadly the 2004 is now history, and 2005 bottles have some ways to go. Good things come to those who wait I suppose.
Jine (900) - Nutley, New Jersey, USA - JAN 1, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2004 12 oz bottle. A little sharp with the alcohol since its a youngin’. But I won’t let that get in the way. Bought this across the East River from ye olde Brooklyn so it seems extra fresh. I’m going back for more
ClarkVV (4218) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - DEC 26, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
2004 draught @ Redbones. Pours a deep dark yellow, rusty and somewhat viscous looking (lightly hazy, wavy and thick looking). White whispy head. Aroma of old soily hops, sweet butter toffee, popcorn. Flavor begins somewhat reminiscent of EKU Eisbock, it’s got the sugary, sweet yellow fruits, light earthy, graininess in the background and a syrupy (not in a bad way) somewhat thick body. Hints of bitterness arise on the finish, but it is a restrained and pleasing bitterness. Succulent caramel and light apricots, nectarines and oranges dance on the palate as it finishes. Light alcohol notes interplay with the hops, creating a unique flavor which actually makes me remark to my girlfriend how unique this beer is (she dosent care). Interesting and very good. It’s kind of a sexless beast, with no distinctive English yeast or American hops, but good nonetheless.
Zach Diesel (906) - Sisters, Oregon, USA - DEC 26, 2004
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
my monster was born in 2003, toasted malt aroma with a hint of sherry, auburn with a thin head, caramely/toasty then a burst of intensely warming alcohol with lingering sweetness
Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - DEC 22, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
2003 Vintage. Strong malty alcohol aroma. Dark red body. Slightly boozy tinny aroma as well. Boozy malt taste, more tin, in your face alcohol, and slight hop bitterness at the end. I agreed with jercraigs, this is one that could use some aging to tone the alcohol down a bit if possible. Pretty good as is though.